Health Canada can boast of several regulatory achievements during the past 18 months, including the implementation of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) regulations, new controls for salmonella in frozen raw breaded chicken products, and the long-awaited revision of the Canadian Food Guide. In recent months, Health Canada has introduced limits for heavy metals, launched food fraud activities, and rolled out new rules for cannabis edibles. Moving forward, Canadian authorities will implement the next phase of the SFCA regulations in January 2020, and continue efforts to improve public health through proper nutrition.

Continue Reading

Highlights:

  • Food labeling claims and food safety issues are responsible for the majority of lawsuits against food companies
  • ‘Natural’ labeling claims, foodborne illnesses, and chemical hazards have triggered several lawsuits this year
  • FDA is required to publish a highly anticipated and potentially controversial proposed rule to define high-risk foods
  • There is an upward trend in the annual number of 60-day notices associated with food products for Proposition 65
  • Lawsuits were filed this year to push the FDA to finalize specific FSMA regulations

Continue Reading

While I think everyone would agree that Russian roulette is a risky endeavor, not everyone would concede that zip lining, rock climbing or skydiving are risky activities. The ambiguity of “risk” can be extended to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations, particularly the designation of “high-risk” foods and the mitigation of the intentional adulteration of foods.

Continue Reading

An estimated 15 million food shipments are expected to arrive at 300 U.S. ports of entry this year from up to 125,000 foreign facilities located in over 200 countries. In recent years, an upward trend in the volume and diversity of imported food shipments has created regulatory and food safety challenges. Addressing these challenges, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a new regulatory oversight strategy for ensuring the safety of imported foods.

Continue Reading

The evolving regulatory and consumer demands for “healthy” products with “clean labels” are challenging food and beverage manufacturers in North America. How can sugar, sodium and fat levels be reduced in products in order to meet public health goals, yet the products still retain a “crave-able” flavor and texture to satisfy consumer expectations?

Continue Reading

How important is pet food safety to the average American? The American Pet Products Association has estimated that 70% of U.S. households own a pet, including more than 100 million households with at least one dog or cat. In recent years, consumer demand for premium and specialty pet food products has fueled a spike in U.S. sales of pet food to nearly $30 billion annually. Due to the growing consumer demands for high-quality pet food and an increasingly complex pet food supply chain, it seems the safety of animal food has never been more important.

Continue Reading

The potential risk of unsafe chemicals in foods has generated significant attention on social media in recent years due to growing consumer demands for “clean food” and food safety. Within the United States, the infamous Proposition 65 law in California is responsible for the majority of warning labeling requirements for chemical contaminants, but there has been an upward trend in state legislative proposals related to the risk of certain chemicals in consumer products. In response to this trend, several major food industry associations have joined forces to support a new federal bill titled the Accurate Labels Act, which seeks to impose more stringent scientific criteria for warning labels related to chemicals. If the bill becomes law, it could supersede or undermine the various state labeling requirements for chemical contaminants if the state rules are not grounded in the “best available science.” Continue Reading

The expression “may you live in interesting times” can be both a blessing and a curse. In North America, we are certainly living in interesting, challenging times for the food industry. The trade tariff wars and the uncertain fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may leave companies operating within the United States, Canada and Mexico with a sense of instability. However, despite the political challenges, food safety regulations within North America are evolving in positive ways.

As the U.S. continues the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Canada recently unveiled new regulations to implement its Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA). Will the new Canadian rules align with the U.S. FSMA regulations to harmonize food safety requirements and streamline trade between the countries? Let’s take a closer look at the most recent developments below. Continue Reading